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Amy Nickson On 4th Apr,16
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marry-in-a-community-property-state

In a marriage, you should share your property along with your emotions, room and other things. Thus, it’s important to become aware of community property state laws, as almost 25% of Americans live under community property states. According to the community property state law, marital property will be divided equally between a couple in a divorce case. It has great impact on personal property ownership, debt, divorce, death and inheritance as well.

Read more - Property and debts – How do these get divided in case of divorce?

# List of community property states

In the US, there are total 9 community property states:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Idaho
  4. Louisiana
  5. Nevada
  6. New Mexico
  7. Texas
  8. Washington
  9. Wisconsin

# Things which both husband and wife own together

Community property is the whole asset that a husband and wife owns together. It can be money that they have earned, property they have acquired, debts that they have, so on. According to the community, state, these are considered as the joint property of a married couple:

  • Any type of debts that is acquired by the couple during marriage.
  • Any income that is received by the couple during marriage.
  • Any personal property with income (vehicles, homes, furnitures) that is received by the couple during marriage.

# Things which remain separate in a community property state

As per the community state law, these things will remain separate.

  • The property which owned by the spouse before marriage.
  • Property that is acquired by the spouse after a legal disunion.
  • Property that was received or inherited from a third party.
  • Debts acquired by the spouse prior to marriage are considered as separate property. Unless the debts were added to the new spouse’s name.

# Effects of community state laws on divorce

Community property laws splits assets as 50:50 in divorce. Business interest, pension plans (401k plans) also fall under the community property state laws. Most of the cases, unless both (husband and wife) agree on the subject of distribution of property, the community property will sell. This happens only when the couples decide to proceed as per the divorce terms.

# Effects of community state laws on death

As per the Community property law, the surviving spouse of any community property state is proposed to own the property owned by both of them or by the expired person.

But in non-community property states, laws stop spouses to excluding other partner for property. As per this law, the surviving spouse will get a minimum of one-half or one-third of the spousal property.

Don’t miss - Getting married in CA? Wait! Check these 5 community property laws

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